A consortium comprising principal partners BKK, a sustainable energy company, French multinational Air Liquide and Norwegian state energy major, Equinor, has chosen Mongstad Industrial Park on Norway’s west coast as the site for the country’s first liquid hydrogen production plant for shipping.
Shipowner Wilhelmsen and logistics specialist NorSea are developing the liquid hydrogen distribution system from the planned facility, and the zero-carbon fuel is likely to be used first in two cargo vessels being developed by Wilhelmsen.
Mongstad, in Vestland county, has a thriving maritime community in the surrounding area. There is plenty of space for expansion of the planned facility to meet rising future demand for liquid hydrogen, and Equinor’s Mongstad refinery is located nearby. A final investment decision on the new plant is expected by the end of this year, the partners said.
Wilhelmsen and Equinor have collaborated on a feasibility study to assess how hydrogen-fuelled vessels could operate effectively on Equinor’s base-to-base supply system. Two ships working the route between onshore supply bases in Stavanger and Mongstad could replace a large number of truck journeys between the two locations, thereby cutting emissions and improving road safety, the partners said.
Streng Velken, corporate director Innovation and Development at consortium leader, BKK, commented: “This is a very important project at a very challenging time for the offshore and maritime industry. It can represent the beginnings of a large Norwegian hydrogen industry that will create new jobs and strengthen Norwegian maritime suppliers’ competitiveness in a global market where decarbonisation of shipping is high on the agenda.”